PhD Candidate at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences / Sociaal Historisch Centrum voor Limburg. 1.00 fte

Over the past 200 years revolutionary changes in health and aging have fundamentally altered the way we live and die. The great escape from bad health and early death has however created new and persisted ...

23 dagen geleden


Grote Gracht, Maastricht, Limburg
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


Over the past 200 years revolutionary changes in health and aging have fundamentally altered the way we live and die. The great escape from bad health and early death has however created new and persisted inequalities in health and life expectancy, primarily along social and educational lines. This project aims to unravel the historical development of health inequalities in the city of Maastricht in the period between 1866 and 1955, as well as the time lag in the city's path towards modern health as compared to the rest of the country.

The city of Maastricht offers an excellent case for a study into the modernization of health and life expectancy. A deep process of industrialization and urbanization created a dynamic urban environment characterized by high disease loads, increasing pressures on residential quarters, and increasing social inequalities

The SHCL has initiated the Maastricht Health Transition Database, 1864-1955, an exceptional dataset containing individual causes of death for the entire population of Maastricht for the period 1864-1955. This dataset enables the reconstruction in detail of the social differentiation, the individual background and the cause of death of all individuals who died in the city during this period. As a result it will be possible to map and reconstruct the spatiotemporal history of death and disease in the city as these evolved over those 100 years.

The data used in this study make it possible to study the development of the epidemiological profile of the city and to determine the changing social profile of the disease pattern for each age group. We can thus reconstruct the development of the epidemiological profile of the city of Maastricht and the way this changed in an exceptional period in the history of European health, in which life expectancy at birth nearly doubled, infectious diseases sharply declined, and cancers and cardiovascular diseases greatly increased.


A socio-economic historian or social scientist (MA or MSc) with a proven interest in historical demography and with affinity for and some experience in quantitative research and analytical quantitative methods and techniques. As the sources for this research are in Dutch, proficiency in that language is required.


We offer a dynamic and challenging job in an internationally-oriented organisation where young people receive an advanced education and scholars conduct exciting research. The PhD candidate will have the unique opportunity to carry out research and to cooperate with experts of the research programme and the historical collections of SHCL. She / he will be part of an international network of renowned scholars at top universities within the field.

We offer a 4 year full-time appointment as PhD student with employee status. The first year will be a probation period, after a positive assessment the position will be extended with another 3 years.

Your workload will be the normal workload for the position of PhD students at FASOS. Currently this implies 80% research activities en 20% teaching activities.

Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD students starting with a salary of € 2.222,00 with a yearly growth to € 2.840,00 gross a month (based on a full-time appointment).

Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.

You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings) you will be eligible for an allowance for moving costs. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings) you might be eligible for an allowance for alternative housing.

Other secondary conditions include e.g. a pension scheme and partially paid parental leave.

You will be provided with shared office space and a laptop.

Additional information

Research project: “Escaping bad health and early death. Inequalities and time lags in the Maastricht health transition, 1864-1955”

Applicants are invited for a 4 year PhD position within the SHCL-project “Bevolking en gezondheid in interregionaal vergelijkend perspectief“. The project is funded by FASOS and SHCL. Principal investigators: Prof. Angélique Janssens, dr. Willibrord Rutten.

Starting date: preferably 1 October 2017 (or as soon as possible thereafter).

A full description of the project is available at the website of SHCL:

Further information on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciencesis available on our website:

Any inquiries about the position or the project may be addressed to: Prof. Angélique Janssens ( or dr. Willibrord Rutten (

Maastricht University’s Terms of Employment are laid down in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local university provisions apply as well. For more information please see the website: / Support / UM employees.


Interested candidates are invited to supply us with:

  1. A letter of motivation stating the candidate’s qualifications and reasons for interest in the position.

  2. A CV.

  3. A grade transcript of previous education at Master level.

  4. The contact information of two references (including e-mail, phone number, mailing address, and relationship to the applicant).

The deadline for submitting your application is 15 September 2017

Please send your application electronically to the secretariat of the department History of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences


Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 16,500 students and 4,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Humanities and Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) has about 250 staff members, and about 1,600 students. More than 75% of the students are non-Dutch (almost 40 different nationalities). All programmes are offered in English and some are also offered in Dutch. FASoS offers two 3-year Bachelor’s programmes: Arts and Culture and European Studies. It also offers six different 1-year Master’s programmes and two 2-year research Master’s programmes.
Research is organised around four programmes: Politics and Culture in Europe; Science, Technology and Society Studies; Arts, Media and Culture; and Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is housed in the historic city centre of Maastricht.

Sociaal Historisch Centrum voor Limburg [Centre for the Social History of Limburg]
SHCL is an independent research facility connected to FASOS. It provides a research infrastructure for comparative regional history by giving access to historical sources, maintenance of a library collection, developing research, publication of a yearbook and a dissertation series. SHCL aims to stimulate and to develop research in the field of comparative regional history. One of its focal points is the history of population and health. The comparative approach enables the SHCL to connect with research institutes and universities elsewhere in Europe. There are many links with research and researchers at FASOS. SHCL is housed in the historic premises of the Regionaal Historisch Centrum Limburg (former State Archives in Limburg).

Graduate School FASOS
The Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences offers the opportunity to pursue a PhD in the interdisciplinary field of arts and social sciences. You receive a coherent program of introductory courses, intensive supervision and frequent discussion with the senior researchers inside and outside the Faculty. The Programme can be characterized by its international and interdisciplinary nature and the emphasis on cultural and societal issues of the modern world.

NW Posthumus Institute
The PhD Student will participate in the courses of the NW Posthumus Institute, the Research School for Economic and Social History in the Netherlands and Flanders. The Posthumus Institute promotes innovative and advanced interdisciplinary research in economic and social history by stimulating joint research programmes of participating institutes and provides a PhD training in economic and social history.


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